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Russian Court Bans Jehovah's Witnesses

 The Russian Supreme Court formally banned Jehovah's Witnesses on Thursday, labeling the group an extremist organization. The religious group in Russia will now be forced to dissolve.

The decision equates Russia's 175,000 Jehovah's Witnesses to terrorist groups like the Islamic State, and makes it illegal for congregations to meet or distribute literature.
The court refused the group's earlier appeals to recognize the organization as victims of political repression, and declined to hear testimony from witnesses who claimed that the Russian police have falsified evidence against regional religious groups.
Russia's Justice Ministry asked the Supreme Court to ban the organization on March 17, after formally warning the group's headquarters in near St. Petersburg to halt “all extremist activity.”
Prosecutors later expanded the case to all 396 registered Jehovah's Witnesses organizations across the country.
The Islamic State and al-Qaeda are terrorist groups banned in Russia.

(Moscow Times)

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